Tuesday, November 06, 2007

That's a Sacrifice I'm Willing To Make

I don't razz on Andrew Sullivan as much as some of my fellow liberals, but this post is ridiculous. Lamenting the lack of inclusion for transgendered persons in the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), Sullivan nonetheless shows his willingness to compromise for the sake of moving the bill forward. This would be more impressive if Sullivan himself was transgendered. As it stands, he's boldly willing to sacrifice the rights of others to get more for himself.

There is a case to be made that we should push through ENDA, even in its imperfect form, because its the best we can get now. But doing that isn't a "compromise" in any meaningful sense by Sullivan -- he's getting his end of the bargain. It's the people who are being left behind that ultimately can claim moral superiority if they are willing to hold off on their own claims for the sake of their peers.


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PG said...

Does it count as a compromise for those of us who are equally sympathetic to those of minority sexual orientation and of minority biosex-to-expressed gender relationship? That is, if my rights are practically unaffected regardless of whether ENDA passes at all, does it count as a compromise if I'm willing to leave out gender expression in order to get ENDA passed? (Just curious; I personally think Congress just needs to declare that sexual orientation and gender expression are forms of sex discrimination and therefore are prohibited by Title VII.)

Anonymous said...

You wrote:

"This would be more impressive if Sullivan himself was transgendered."

Sorry to play the grammar nazi, but the poor grammar makes such sentences hard to read.

Try "if Sullivan himself were transgendered"... it would make your sentence (and your writing) clearer.

David Schraub said...

PG: I don't think you get to claim any moral high ground for it -- there is nothing bold or forward. It's a necessary evil. The only people for whom this compromise "move" can be taken as specifically morally praiseworthy are those who are being left out in the compromise.

PG said...

I didn't see Sullivan demanding moral accolades for his position. He implicitly sets himself in contrast to the "gay left," which he thinks fails to understand incrementalism. There's nothing particularly heroic about incrementalism -- just realistic.

David Schraub said...

I guess just a difference in interpretation. I felt he wanted props for being the type of hard-headed, realistic negotiator who is so committed to getting things done, he's willing to sacrifice the rights of other people in order to see some progress (cue applause).